Since October, there have been mass demonstrations demanding the departure of the entire sectarian-based leadership over entrenched corruption, incompetence and mismanagement.
But the ruling oligarchy has held onto power for so long — since the end of the civil war in 1990 — that it is difficult to find a credible political figure not tainted by connections to them.
Diab blamed corrupt politicians who preceded him for the “earthquake” that has hit Lebanon.
“They (political class) should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years,” he added.
“I have discovered that corruption is bigger than the state and that the state is paralyzed by this (ruling) clique and cannot confront if or get rid of it,” Diab, who was a university professor at the American University of Beirut before he took the job.
Although Diab’s resignation had appeared inevitable after the catastrophe, he seemed unwilling to leave and only two days ago made a televised speech in which he offered to stay on for two months to allow for various factions to agree on a roadmap for reforms.
But the pressure from within his own Cabinet proved to be too much.
Diab’s government was formed after his predecessor, Saad Hariri, stepped down in October in response to the demonstrations.
It took months of bickering among the leadership factions before they settled on Diab.